B.C. revamps training agency with new name, expanded mandate
SkilledTradesBC will help implement the province’s skilled trades certification system in the coming years.
- The Industry Training Authority is now SkilledTradesBC.
- The organization’s new mandate includes a larger focus on raising the profile of skilled trades.
- The group will also over see the implementation of skilled trades certification.
The Whole Story:
B.C.’s Industry Training Authority (ITA) has a new name and a new mandate.
On Dec. 1, the organization transitioned to SkilledTradesBC. Officials explained that while its role in advancing B.C.’s skilled trades system hasn’t changed, it has expanded. This includes a larger focus on raising the profile of skilled trades, modernizing its approach to trades training, and implementing skilled trades certification.
“We are excited to have an expanded mandate and a fresh approach. Our new name, SkilledTradesBC will make it easier for everyone to understand who we are and what we do. The core work of our organization has not changed,” said Shelley Gray, SkilledTradesBC CEO. “Supporting our customer’s needs, and developing and funding training programs will remain the same. But moving forward we are also going to be focused on raising the profile of skilled trades careers, modernizing our supports for our customers and implementing skilled trades certification.”
Based on recommendations from a stakeholder advisory working group, there are seven initial trades designated for skilled trades certification and three more will be added in 2024.
The change will formally recognize the skills of trades workers, which the province says will help them receive standardized training, earn higher wages and better navigate evolving industry needs.
“Tradespeople in B.C. need to be recognized for their skills,” said Andrew Mercier, parliamentary secretary for skills training. “Our made-in-B.C. skilled trades certification system increases prestige in the trades, while providing workers with more consistent access to better, safer and higher-paid jobs.”
The first phase of certification will apply to some electrical and mechanical trades. These include electrician, industrial electrician, powerline technician, refrigeration and air conditioning mechanic, gasfitter A and B, steamfitter/pipefitter, and sheet metal worker.
Uncertified trade workers in these trades will be required to register as an apprentice or pass a certification exam before Dec. 1, 2023. Three additional automotive trades will be added to certification in 2024 when phase two begins and will also have one year to transition once announced.